UPDATE: After missing for 93 days, a Thurston County teen is home safe according to her mother. Kelly Anderson says 16-year-old Emmie Pierce was trying to get away from a bad crowd when she disappeared. She returned after the people she was staying with saw the news coverage. "We are ever so grateful for having her back and safe. We feared the worst but kept our faith. Thank you all so very much. I couldn't have done this without all of you," said Anderson.
Anderson contacted Q13 News about her missing daughter after seeing the coverage of a 15-year-old Bonney Lake teen that had disappeared. The teen (who we are no longer naming or showing because police say she was the victim of sex trafficking) is home safe now because of the efforts of the community. The tipster who called 911 after she and her daughter spotted that 16-year-old has received the $10,000 reward offered in the case.
The good Samaritan asked that she not be identified.
"I was leaving the place and a girl was walking down and she looks like that girl (deleted) that's missing and she has a beanie on and she's at a bus stop," the woman said in the 911 call.
The Facebook page created to help find her now has a new name -- South Sound Advocates for the Missing and Endangered.
On Tuesday, her mother provided a DNA sample to detectives in case it is ever needed to help identify Emmie.
Just like with the case of the Bonney Lake teen, Emmie left around 1 a.m. by sneaking out a window after her mom says they had a great evening planning her grandmother's birthday party.
On any given night, experts say, there are 500 girls being sex-trafficked in Western Washington, some as young as 12.
The Washington State Patrol has a missing person's website that posts photos and names.
Runaways are tough for law enforcement because there is no law against running away. They do put out internal bulletins for patrol officers, but only ask for the public's help when they thing a child might be in danger or missing because of suspicious circumstances.
Emmie had run away before so her mom was worried that her case was not being taken seriously. She's been posting photos of her daughter on every Facebook page she can find. She reported Emmie to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
"I feel hopeful," Emmie's mom said. "I won't give up on my daughter. I'll keep the faith, no matter what, you know, and I won't give up on my daughter but I'm pretty heartbroken. I just need some answers."
There is a nonprofit organization that runs a hotline to help teens reconnect with their families. They can call 1-800-THE-RUNAWAY and even get a free bus ticket home.